Book Review: The Anatomical Shape of A Heart

Beatrix Adams and Jack Vincent meet at the beginning of the summer before their Senior year at high school. She sees him at the bus stop for The Owl. It’s almost midnight and Bex is on her way home after just being stood up by Dr. Denise Sheridan, the head of the anatomy lab. Jack is on his way to The Botanical Garden. They started talking on the bus, but when Jack is about to get off the bus, a golden color spray paint can rolls out of his backpack.

The same color paint in which 5 different graffiti words have appeared around the city of San Francisco. Suddenly, she knows exactly who Jack is. The next day Ms. Lopez, her boss at the Alto Market, told her about the new word that had appeared at The Botanical Garden, “Bloom.”

She’s on her way to the university a few days later for her interview to draw the cadavers in the Willed Bodies Lab for a competition that can get her the money she needs for college. She bumps into Jack and he asks for a way to contact her. She gives him the name of a blog, Body-O-Rama, where she posts some of her artwork.

The day of her birthday, Bex and her family go to the museum where a Max Brödel diagram of a heart would be in display. She hears a commotion coming from the exhibit. She manages to get into the exhibit and sees “CELEBRATE” written in great golden letters on the wall beneath the heart diagram.

Jack manages to get Bex the opportunity to draw the cadavers in the Willed Bodies Lab. They start hanging out and admit that they have feelings for each other. They spend the whole summer being happy together, but when Bex doesn’t come home one night after staying over at Jacks house, her mom confronts her. She doesn’t like that Bex disobeyed her and went on to draw the cadavers for the competition instead of drawing from textbook sketches. She tells her that if she ever has any sort of contact with Jack she will tell the police about Jack’s graffiti. However, she lets Bex finish her drawings, but when she goes back to the lab, the body she had been drawing has been cremated and she can’t start from zero and finish in time to enter the competition. So, she has no other choice than to contact Jack and ask for his help.

I really enjoyed reading this book. The characters were quite interesting, there was something to like and dislike about most of them, they aren’t all described to be perfect. There was a bit of mystery and suspense throughout the book, but not only that. There was also a very cute romance between two people that may have not happened, had it not been for Bex being stood up for her interview and missed the ‘normal’ bus. They are both misunderstood artists. Jack is illegally graffiting walls and being looked for by the police, while Bex wants to draw bodies for textbooks for a living.

My two most favorite characters are Noah and Ms. Lopez. I really like Noah, because he makes Heath, Bex’s older brother a better person. He gets him to go back to college to pursue is dream of being a veterinarian, but he also likes to have fun at the same time. I also really like Ms. Lopez, because she seems like a really cool boss and friend. She supports Bex and encourages her to keep trying to get into the Willed Body Program. She really cares about Bex and isn’t like one of those horrible bosses you read about, see on TV, or know.

I really do recommend this book for anyone that wants to read a cute romantic story about two teenagers. This book is classified as Young Adult fiction. Most book review sites have the book recommended for ages 12 and up. I would say that anyone 14 or older can read this book, based on the content which includes: alcohol, sex, and language.

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart was written by Jenn Bennett. It was published by Feiwel and Friends in New York, in 2015. There are both physical and e-book versions of the book. The hardcover copy, which is the one I read, has 304 pages. You can buy it on Amazon.


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